Kathmandu, September 23
Under pressure from transport entrepreneurs, the government has raised public transportation fare by 10 per cent effective from today.
As transport entrepreneurs tabled preconditions of either a fare revision or reduction in fuel price as the only options to open the booking of bus tickets for Dashain, the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) was compelled to raise public transpo rtation fare.
“The public transportation fare across all routes has been increased by 10 per cent effective from today,” informed Gokarna Prasad Upadhya, spokesperson for DoTM, adding that the new adjustment in transportation fare intends to assure the timely opening of the advance booking of bus tickets and ease commuting during the festive time.
With this, transport entrepreneurs are also preparing to open the booking of bus tickets for Dashain.
“We are preparing to accept the booking of bus tickets from Tuesday onwards,” said Saroj Sitaula, general secretary of Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs’ Association.
Earlier, transport entrepreneurs were ready to accept the advance booking of bus tickets from today itself after the government assured to raise public transportation fare after Dashain and initiate process to unfreeze the frozen bank accounts of transport bodies (committees and associations). However, they deferred their plan after Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) raised fuel price last week.
Though DoTM itself was in the mood to raise public transportation fare owing to significant rise in fuel price since the last adjustment of public transportation fare, the department had assured the fare adjustment to transport entrepreneurs only after Dashain as increasing the fare now would affect upcoming festive market.
The government had last reviewed public transportation fare on February 7, 2016. At the time, petrol and diesel used to cost Rs 99 per litre and Rs 75 per litre, respectively. Since then petrol and diesel have become dearer by Rs 15 per litre and Rs 26 per litre, respectively. The government’s mechanism gives 35 per cent weightage to fuel price and 65 per cent weightage to the price of other components while reviewing public transportation fare.
Under the existing public transportation fares in cities, including Kathmandu Valley, commuters have to pay Rs 13 for a travel of up to four kilometres, Rs 15 for five kilometres, Rs 16 for six kilometres, Rs 17 for eight kilometres, Rs 19 for 10 kilometres, Rs 21 for 13 kilometres, Rs 22 for 16 kilometres, Rs 23 for 19 kilometres and Rs 24 for distance travelled above 19 kilometres.
Along with the new adjustment in price, commuters in cities will now have to pay additional 10 per cent of fare on the aforementioned public transportation fares.
A version of this article appears in print on September 24, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.